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31 MAY, 2017 (MAINS)



Q1. Incidences of antimicrobial resistance have been increasing, and this issue could be more disastrous than fighting a war, in the future. Analyze various reasons of antimicrobial resistance. How are human activities indirectly helping the superbugs to thrive? What could be the ways to handle this problem? (200 words)


Please write the answer in comments section

  • Ashish

    Antimicrobial resistance refers to the phenomenon wherein the microbes become increasingly resistant to the existing drugs.
    When the bugs are repeatedly introduced to the same drug again and again, then over a period of time they become adept to further usage of drugs due to factors like genetic mutation etc
    This makes the existing drugs redundant and the search for new drugs imperative.
    In recent days drug resistant forms of TB like MDR TB and XDR TB have gained ground in India as well as African countries. The state of crisis is underlined by the fact that UN has declared Antimicrobial resistance to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
    AMR is caused due to a multitude of factors:
    • Usage of over-the-counter medicines rather than based on doctor’s prescription
    • Profligate prescription by doctors which makes these drugs available
    • Incessant usage of antibiotics in animal industry in order to protect them against infections and raise productivity
    • Lax monitoring
    A multi-pronged approach is called for in order to fight the menace of AMR:
    • Coordination among the Government, Doctors and Pharmacists
    • Government should regulate drug companies discharging anti microbial waste into the environment
    • Drug usage in livestock sector be regulated
    • Raising awareness among people about the harmful effects of over the counter drugs
    • Giving a fillip to the Alternative systems of treatment like Unani Ayurveda Homeopathy etc which have no such side effects
    • Rapid expansion of Jan Aushadhi stores
    • Red line project of India which makes identification of Schedule H drugs easy
    • Recent notification by Medical Council of India asking doctors to prescribe only Generic medicines is expected to help in this regard.

  • Osho Korde

    The use of antibiotics has saved millions of lives, but its pervasive use to treat any infection, whether serious, minor, or even viral has led to the increase in antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics strictly target bacteria, but it is sometimes difficult to differentiate between viral and bacterial infections without costly tests. It is often less time-consuming and more cost effective to proactively prescribe antibiotics, rather than take precautions and prescribe only the correct treatment.
    India awoke late to risks of antibiotic overuse and is scrambling to contain the surge in drug resistance.
    6 main causes of antibiotic resistance have been linked to:
    • Over-prescription of antibiotics
    • Patients not finishing the entire antibiotic course
    • Overuse of antibiotics in livestock and fish farming
    • Poor infection control in health care settings
    • Poor hygiene and sanitation
    • Absence of new antibiotics being discovered

    Among the key factors responsible are the widespread use and availability of practically all the antimicrobials across the counter, increasing and wanton use of antibiotics in livestock production, inappropriate doses, and irrational use of antibiotics in hospitals.
    Despite its outrage over being associated with a resistant bug the nation sat up to the danger of anti-microbial resistance within its boundaries, and is beginning to understand the disastrous societal consequences of rendering certain life-saving drugs impotent.